Autodesk Netfabb is a powerful software to use when designing for additive manufacturing as it enables you to harness complete control over the way your part is created. Netfabb includes a range of features which enable you to streamline your workflow, reduce build errors and optimise your part for the printer, however unless you’ve been taught how to navigate the software, it can sometimes be tricky to make use of all the available features and to pinpoint what exactly they can be used for. In this blog article, we’ve picked out five of the most useful features for streamlining your manufacturing processes with Autodesk Netfabb.
Many parts and models that companies work with have been designed for traditional manufacturing processes, therefore when switching to an additive manufacturing process, the part may not print to a great quality or may cause difficulties to arise during the printing process.
Autodesk Netfabb’s ‘modifying models for production’ feature helps improve the manufacturability of parts which in turn reduces build time and improves the surface finish. There are a range of tools which allow you to off-set, smooth and hollow out parts, adjust wall thickness, reduce sharp edges, add fixtures, drill holes and even add logos and text. You are also able to add sophisticated design texturing, add identification to parts for quality assurance and arrange parts on the build platform to decrease waste.
What’s more, for laser based systems, you are able to define hatching patterns to help reduce processing and build times.
The Autodesk ‘optimisation utility for brevity’ is a tool that’s used to enhance 3D parts using lattice optimisation and topology optimisation.
The lattice optimisation tool is able to use lattices and skins of various sized, thicknesses and densities to generate enhanced 3D parts. Why would you use this? This enables you to automatically generate a part that is lighter in weight, whilst maintaining the performance characteristics required.
The topology optimisation tool optimises the shape of your design for 3D printing by generating new, optimised shapes.
Some of the most useful aspects of this tool include:
The manual packing process and setting up build can be a time-consuming activity, in which any encountered delays can create an uncertain work schedule and lead to overtime that consequently increases overall costs and uses up valuable resources.
Autodesk Netfabb’s automatic packing function is there to eliminate time intensive manual packaging, helping to make your business more productive. So what does it entail? The automatic packaging tool is a one-click solution that reduces lead times on builds by automatically packing build platforms quickly and efficiently. It also enables you to adjust packing parameters according to the required density, speed and other restrictions so that you can align your build to the capacity of your machine.
How can this tool help to streamline your manufacturing processes?
A high density of parts in the build improves the ratio between parts build and material wastage, thus reducing material waste, the cost of handling and also improving your carbon footprint. Therefore, the automatic packaging tool is highly recommended by our team of application engineers and is one of their go to’s whenever they’re using Autodesk Netfabb.
The Autodesk Netfabb integrated performance analysis tool allows us to test how an optimised design will perform using built in Autodesk Nastran simulation. Nastran is a finite element analysis tool which offers a wide range of simulation inside the Netfabb software; this means there’s no need to import models or run set-up as the software brings the simulation process directly into your CAD tools.
Some of the key features include:
Predicting the efficiency of a part is a huge factor in the design process, however without the right analytical tools it can become a time consuming trial and error process. Making one small design error can be detrimental to a project by increasing the time-scale and cause large costs. Design error’s also put you at a disadvantage with the competition and can be detrimental to the success of your product.
The Autodesk Netfabb simulation tool provides a way of identifying a design weakness and enables users to easily correct them before being sent to the production line. The simulation feature enables users to predict the resulting thermal history, residual stress and distortion of manufactured parts based on known process parameters.
Some of the key issues which the simulation feature can detect include:
So there you have our 5 top features in Autodesk Netfabb. We understand how tricky it can be to get your head around all the features of a new software, so why not try one of our Autodesk accredited Netfabb training courses to further boost your project into success. Visit the webpage for more info or to speak to a member of the team, give us a call on 01905 458000.
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